It seems like Sheffield Wednesday’s manager hunt has barely begun but already reports suggest that Tony Pulis is close to becoming the next Owls boss – a decision that while understandable seems a missed opportunity.
The Telegraph’s John Percy indicated yesterday that Pulis was in advanced talks with the Yorkshire club, while reporter Alan Biggs suggested today that the experienced Welshman will be joining on a long-term deal.
It’s hard to argue with Pulis’ record at this level but, in many ways, the fact that he is such a known quantity makes this a missed opportunity for Wednesday.
In another of the names linked to the job, Plymouth Argyle’s Ryan Lowe, the Owls had an opportunity to be bold and offer a young, forward-thinking manager a chance to prove himself.
Lowe, who journalist Alan Nixon ruled out of the running yesterday, is one of the most exciting managers in the EFL at the moment – having earned promotion twice already in his short career in coaching and, not only that, done it while playing an expansive and attractive style of football.
The 42-year-old is renowned for his teams’ front-foot style, an ideology that has drawn praise from Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp among others, but it’s more than pretty, it’s effective.
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He secured promotion to League One in his first full season at Bury and did the same at Plymouth, while in his second at Home Park they’re pushing for a place in third tier’s top six.
That may seem nothing in comparison to the vast experience Pulis boasts but in many ways it’s this lack of experience, this unknown quantity, that should make him so attractive to the Owls.
They know what they’re getting by turning to Pulis but we don’t know where Lowe’s ceiling is and he could’ve been the man to not just get them playing attractive football again but get them back in the top flight.
As a player, the Argyle boss spent one season at Wednesday and helped them return to the Championship. More than a decade on, this could’ve been the perfect time to bring him back to Hillsborough in search of an even bigger promotion.
It is understandable that the Owls opted to go in a different direction but there’s no doubt it’s a missed opportunity.